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Champions League Men - 13 Feb 2014

Angers wants to extend the dream


French Angers Vaillante is preparing seriously for its first ever semi-final game of Men’s European Champions League, which will be held on March 7th, at home, against compatriots, AS Pontoise Cergy. The no. 11 seed created a biggest surprise passing thor

French Angers Vaillante is preparing seriously for its first ever semi-final game of Men’s European Champions League, which will be held on March 7th, at home, against compatriots, AS Pontoise Cergy. The no. 11 seed created a biggest surprise passing thorough MECL Group A and quarter-final, but Angers` president hopes that “the story will not finish”, no matter how next opponent is strong…

What was the decisive for such good result? we asked to Gerard SARAZIN. “After a good first round, with two big matches against Orenburg (with a fantastic GIONIS) and a very strange match against Ochsenhausen (3:0 and 0:3 at the rematch) the decisive is the rematch in Austria and the clever tactic of coach and manager: MARTINEZ played first and beat CHEN Weixing and after all was easier, LUNDQUIST (our best player against Niederostereich) in base and GIONIS only in third. And 3:0 at the end with only one set loose. The tactic was decisive but of course also the very good match of my three players.”

SARAZIN stressed that this MECL semis is, no doubt, one of the biggest achievements in 40 years long Angers` history: “Sure, our biggest success was held at Istanbul in 2008 when we won ETTU Cup after the final rematch, because it was a title and our first title. Regarding the MECL, this season is the best one for Angers but it is more the global than a particular match. Also, I consider 2012 ETTU Cup final as one of most memorable moments that we had on European scene”.

Angers` president expects 2.000 people in first all-French semi-final. “Pontoise is a very strong team. We lost the first match in national Pro A 4:0 so I think we have 5% chance… FREITAS is one of the best players in the world, as last winner of the Top 12. Regarding WANG – nobody from my club managed to beat him, while KARLSSON is the revelation in Pro A this season. To try to be close to them, my three players need to play fantastic together in both matches.”

In other semi-final two Russian clubs will meet one another, national champion against reigning MECL champion: UMMC – Orenburg (1st leg on March 7-9th).

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